Drew this on a lonnnnng descent into Denver, on my way back from the Nonprofit Technology Conference.
Funny what goes through your mind when you’re seated in the exit row, and the flight attendant briefs you about what to do If Worst Comes To Worst. Not that it’s going to. Heavens, no. Okay, first you look out the window for smoke, flames, debris or that thing William Shatner saw…
For me, it’s the feeling that I’ve been somehow deputized. Now I, too, have the lives of dozens of people in my hands. Which means I’m more alert. More aware of my surroundings. Less able to get work done. Allowed to call the crew by their first names.
Apparently, though, all it really means is they want someone who can open the damn door if the need arises. Specifically, I have learned that being in the exit row does not entail:
- any entitlement to additional snacks
- a little badge and whistle
- the right to preface your name with “Lord” or “Sir”
- special notepaper and a signet ring
- everyone saluting you and singing “For he’s a jolly good fellow” as you leave the plane.
However, there is extra leg room. And that, really, is all the reward a hero needs.
By the way, I drew this during the flight. (I had to do something to take my mind off the awesome responsibility.)
I’m flying back from the Nonprofit Technology Conference (it was a great time – more on that soon) and we leveled off a few minutes ago.
So I thought I’d try something. I usually sketch in those minutes between the flight crew saying “Turn off your mobile devices! They are tools of the devil! Yes, you in 24A, I do mean you!” and that sweet moment when they permit us to go back to our productively wired lives (“Buh-CAAWWWWW!” “Oink, oink, oink.”).
Looking at my sketchbook just now, I wondered: could I post all of those sketches using only my iPhone? Continue reading
In a few short hours, I’ll touch down in Las Vegas, New Mexico, armed only with my iPad, stylus, two sketchbooks, pencil, five Pigma Micron markers, a Cintiq, a digital SLR and a MacBook Pro. I travel light, my friend.
The destination: BlogWorld, the planet’s (and, as far as we know, the entire universe’s) largest new media gathering. I’m their official cartoon-blogger, or toonblogger. Heading from session to session, keynote to keynote, glittering nightclub to glittering nightclub, I’ll be capturing moments and whipping up cartoons. You can follow them on the BlogWorld blog.
In case you’re interested, here’s a quick video clip of what I’m bringing with me (thanks, free YVR broadband!).
Lee and Sachi LeFever have made it home to Seattle, after embarking on a trip that lent new meaning to the term “world-wide web”. Throughout their year-long globe-spanning odyssey, they maintained a photographically-rich chronicle via their custom-built online community, The World Is Not Flat.
TWINF not only allowed them to blog stories and images from their journey, but also invited friends, family and onlookers to offer comments, kudos and suggestions along the way. Better yet, it continues to serve as a resource for anyone who wants to find or share information and tips about any destination the planet has to offer. (Hmm… given NASA’s recent announcement, how long before the LeFevers launch The Moon Is Not Flat?)
One journey ends, and another begins: Sachi will be joining Lee’s consulting practice, Common Craft.
Once more, with feeling: this over here is how you handle a crisis, and this over there is how you don’t.
As I type this in the departure lounge at Ottawa International Airport, an Air Canada staffer is on the horn, patiently explaining why it is that standby passengers won’t be getting to Toronto tonight. She’s walking people through it step by step: flight crews are stranded too because of the ice storm; they’re very sorry; they’re trying to bring a larger plane tomorrow to absorb the overflow; here’s how to get on board.
Meanwhile, a hundred metres away, this is the scene:
According to several passengers I spoke to, Zoom staff left them on the plane… on the runway… for seven hours, starting at six a.m. The lucky passengers got a drink of water, a snack and if I remember correctly, pop.
Then, when they finally left the plane at one in the afternoon, Zoom ordered them not to go home, even though the revised departure time was eight o’clock at night. By the time Zoom relented, going home was pointless.
Meanwhile, frustrated passengers had to hector the staff into coughing up the traditional food vouchers; Zoom insisted you don’t get vouchers when the weather’s to blame.
Throughout the day, passengers â€“ Zoom’s customers â€“ have been starved for both food and information. It’s a spectacularly lousy way to treat the people who ultimately pay your bills.
When someone tells you they’re about to travel to one of your favourite destinations for the first time, the urge to flood them with information — likes, dislikes, hidden treasures, tourist traps, that restaurant that gave you the runs for a week — is nearly overwhelming.
Well, Lee and Sachiko LeFever actually want you to tell them every one of their travel tips. Come December, they’ll quit their day jobs, don backpacks and set off on a trip around the world. And to guide them along the way, they’ve just launched The World Is Not Flat, or TWINF – a whole new kind of travel web site for a whole new kind of trip.
They’ll start in New Zealand, then head to Australia and Singapore… and then after that, their plans are kind of fuzzy. Sachi and Lee are counting on you to steer them right.